Colombia's Chamber Of Deputies Approves Cannabis Legalization Bill, Here Are The Details

The Colombian House of Representatives recently approved a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis, though before being enacted into law it needs to be debated in the Senate.

Rep. Juan Carlos Losada's cannabis legalization bill passed in a 105-33 vote and will now be debated in the Senate and then sent to the President's desk, reported Colombia's RCN Radio.

Once enacted, cannabis will be legal for adults over 18.

Likewise, the Ministries of Justice and Interior declared they were in favor of the legalization proposal. Justice Minister Néstor Osuna said that the current policy of prohibition “ensures that [cannabis] income goes to the mafias and not the public treasury. This is a government of change—and that change includes a new drug policy that eliminates the drug gangs and penalization of the cultivation.”

Losada, also referenced recent comments Colombian President Gustavo Petro made in his first speech before the United Nations in which he urged "member countries to fundamentally change their approaches to drug policy and disband with prohibition.”

Losada said that Colombia was among the victims of this failed war on drugs.

Rep. Carlos Ardila also introduced a separate legalization bill, which includes provisions to distribute tax revenue from marijuana sales to individual government municipalities.

Ardila, who is co-sponsoring Losada’s bill said that it’s “not unreasonable that what is collected from cannabis for adult use is destined solely and exclusively to municipalities, districts, and departments because they are the ones that address issues like public health and safety."

As yet, President Petro has not explicitly endorsed the cannabis legalization bills although Cabinet officials indicate that cannabis reform has the administration’s full support.

When Petro took office in August as the first leftist to become president in the country, his administration proposed a series of reforms to reduce the gap between rich and poor, collect taxes and create decent jobs, including the legalization of recreational cannabis.

Image by GRAPHICAL On Pixabay

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentLatin AmericaNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralColombialegal cannabisPresident Gustavo PetroRep. Juan Carlos Losada
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